Daphne Fauber ’22 is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Engineering Technology Teacher Education and Curriculum & Instruction with minors in Design & Innovation, Biology, and Global Studies. Daphne had the unique opportunity to begin undergraduate research in the summer leading up to her freshman year. She took Dr. Ware’s summer honors Intro to Research course and learned what it means to be a student researcher. The final project for this course involved writing a research proposal which she submitted to the OUR Scholars program after finding her current research mentor, Dr. Hsin-Yi Weng in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Daphne and Dr. Weng’s research correlated the effects of urbanization on rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Lyme disease is often associated with rural areas, however, urbanization and the presence of ecotones has been deemed a potential risk factor for Lyme disease. The objective of their study was to examine the expansion of city boundaries and its relation to rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Their current findings partially support their hypothesis that expanding city boundaries are linked to higher rates of Lyme disease in those areas, however, the trends are not consistent throughout the years.

As an education major, Daphne values the ability to learn. She also encourages undergraduate researchers to be involved and to share their knowledge.

“As teacher education students, we are taught about the importance of having a lifelong learner’s attitude, and I think research is an embodiment of that attitude,” says Fauber. 

“Generating new knowledge means nothing if it is not being shared with others. I may be biased with my background in education, but I think being able to inspire others to be passionate about your subject area by showing them the new information you have created is the most important part of research. Apply for positions that seem like long shots. Apply to present at conferences. Submit manuscripts to be published. Be proud of what you have done and do not be afraid to seek out opportunities to share your work with others.”

Daphne accomplished this feat when she was selected to present her work at the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Posters on the Hill symposium held in Washington, DC. As an OUR Scholar, Daphne is highlighted as a top undergraduate researcher at Purdue.

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